Notifying Employees of Affordable Health Care Coverage Options

Effective October 1, 2013, as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physicians and practices that employ health care workers (regardless of how many employees) must inform employees of health coverage options available through health care exchanges (also referred to as the Marketplace). 

What does this mean?

Beginning in January, 2014, individuals and small businesses (defined as businesses with fewer than 50 employees) will be able to enroll in health coverage through government-run health insurance exchanges. 

The ACA requires that employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provide each current and new employee written notice about the availability of the health care coverage options available through the exchange. This notice must be provided to all employees regardless of their eligibility for any employer-sponsored benefits, or their part-time or full-time status. 

Is there an example or template notice that I can use?

Template notices, in the form of interactive PDFs, are available from the Division of Labor. Two versions are available: One for employers that do not offer insurance coverage, and one for employers that do offer insurance coverage for their employees.

How do I inform employees?

Notification can be provided either by first-class mail or electronically, as long as the Division of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor requirements are met. 

Where can I direct my employees to learn more about the Massachusetts Marketplace?

You can direct your employees to the Massachusetts Health Connector website which contains details on the various options that are available.  The connector offers multiple plan options both in terms of coverage and cost. Enrollment for these new offerings began on October 1, 2013 and is available until March 31, 2014. 

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